Ed Miliband today hailed Labour's election performance, denying he was disappointed with the results.
Labour failed to win a majority in Wales, lost to the Scottish National Party north of the border and Mr Miliband also backed the Alternative Vote, which was heavily defeated at the polls.
But he said today: "We had some notable wins in place like Gravesham, we made big gains in Thanet and Thurrock. I know we've got to be a truly national party fighting in the south as well as the north.
"We made progress, it's a staging post."
He claimed the Government was still enjoying a "honeymoon period" - even though the Liberal Democrats were routed on Thursday.
But Mr Miliband said Labour still needed to attract voters with alternative policies.
"People do want us to set out the alternative to this Government. We've got to convince more people about the alternative there is," Mr Miliband told the BBC's Andrew Marr Show.
He pledged to press ahead with highlighting "the squeeze on people's income", adding: "We are seeing the destruction of many of the things people value, from local policing to the NHS.
"There are big challenges facing this country, we've started to set that out and we will do it more over the coming months."